The stream of signals coming from Washington to Damascus has been steady for weeks. This month, three US Congressmen visited Syria, the last of whom, Brian Baird, carried the slogan of ‘science diplomacy'. Baird...is currently leading the Science Diplomacy initiative in Congress, arguing that science transcends political differences and should be used to improve Syrian-US relations.
The stream of signals coming from Washington to Damascus has been steady for weeks. This month, three US Congressmen visited Syria, the last of whom, Brian Baird, carried the slogan of 'science diplomacy'.
The State Department has dispatched a high-level diplomatic and trade mission to Syria, according to senior U.S. officials, marking the latest bid by the Obama administration to woo President Bashar al-Assad away from his strategic alliance with Iran. The U.S. delegation comprises senior executives from some of America's top technology companies...
Turkey signed a deal Thursday with its Arab neighbors of Syria, Jordan and Lebanon to establish a cooperation council to create a zone of free movement of goods and persons among them.
In Turkey, diplomacy and commerce go hand in hand: when ministers travel abroad, they take a train of businessmen...A new pipeline running from Russia to Turkey might carry gas onwards to Syria or Lebanon – but not Israel.
A warming of once-chilly Turkish-Syrian ties has unleashed a one-way trade boom...Turkey's popularity in Syria soared after an Israeli raid on Gaza-bound aid ships in which nine Turks were killed on May 31."Turkey now has a stake in the Palestinian cause, and Syria stands to gain," a diplomat said. "It will be more difficult for Israel to launch any military action against Syria."
Five years after a Western-Arab-Lebanese front emerged to oppose Syria's presence in Lebanon, forcing Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad to withdraw the military and security forces that had been there since 1976 and had provided the military backing for Syria's control of Lebanon, Syria seems to be regaining its control over Lebanon.
The cross-border spending sprees are one of the most visible effects of a recent rapprochement between Turkey and Syria, part of Ankara's drive to strengthen ties with its eastern neighbours, using trade and cultural links to increase its "soft power" in the Middle East.